13 Best Metal Detecting Books (You Must Read)

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There is a slew of metal detecting books online.

Why read about it when you can get out there and practice?

Part of effective practicing and detecting starts with knowing your stuff. This will force you to research, gather information, and talk with others.

Books dedicated to the topic also make great metal detecting gifts.

The more we know, the better we can improve our techniques, expand our hunting sites, and find treasure.

13 Top Metal Detecting Books

1. The Metal Detecting Bible: Helpful Tips, Expert Tricks and Insider Secrets for Finding Hidden Treasures

Author: Brandon Neice

Ideal For: Beginners, Intermediates, Experts

Brandon takes you on a very detailed journey from the start. He outlines the right metal detector for the job, teaches you what to look for in a site, provides swing techniques, addresses getting permission, and much more. It has the basic principles plus expert tips that other experienced users may require some insight with. Although it’s very informative, it’s not without humor.

This is a book that will get a brand-new rookie into the know while advanced users will appreciate the fresh ideas and reminders. It’s a book that is easily considered a “keep.”

2. Gold Beneath the Waves: Treasure Hunting the Surf and Sand

Author: Jim Brouwer

Ideal For: Beginners, Intermediates, Experts

Beach hunting is a hobby of its own just like gold prospecting. There are different tricks to the trade, necessary requirements of a metal detector, and user knowledge that’s essential to productive hunting in and around saltwater. Brouwer shares his experience with beach metal detecting in this 222-page book.

You’ll learn about how the tides, currents, and being in the ocean ties together when metal detecting. You’ll never see the beach the same way again as your eyes will be open to how you can find more gold. Take it from Brouwer – he packed up and moved to Myrtle Beach just so he could enjoy his passion for metal detecting every day.

3. Advanced Prospecting & Detecting for Hardrock Gold

Author: Jim Straight

Ideal For: Intermediates, Experts

If you’re going straight for hardrock gold and placers, you’ll need some expert advice from prospector Jim Straight who also held a geological engineering degree. This book is more like a booklet with its 81 pages, but every paragraph is jam-packed with relevant and useful information that will help you look for the signs and identify epithermal gold deposits.

This is a must-have that may take you a few reads to really let the information sink in. Having passed away in 2019, that man took with him knowledge that a person may never acquire in a lifetime of prospecting. Get tips straight from the horse’s mouth and find more gold where it can be found.

4. How to Research for Treasure Hunting & Metal Detecting

Author: Otto von Helsing

Ideal For: Intermediates, Experts

Knowing how to go about finding leads and virgin ground means doing research. Where do you start? How do you “research?” Helsing provides detailed and informative methods and techniques to getting started into researching myths, legends, stories, and leads to find the hidden cash of coins and the big score.

You’ll soon learn how to get those leads, pursue it, and research it out so that you’re not wasting time in the field.

5. A Guide Book of United States Coins 2021

Author: Jeff Garrett

Ideal For: Beginners, Intermediates, Experts

If you’re getting into coin-shooting, or you already have a collection you need to assess, you’ll need to identify what type of coin it is, how old it is, and get up-to-date information on its value.

Jeff Garrett put together a guidebook to help you understand what it is you’re digging up – a must-have for any coin collector and coin-shooter.

6. Permission Impossible: Metal Detecting Search Permission Made Easy

Author: David Villanueva

Ideal For: Beginners, Intermediates

Having to come out of your comfort zone to talk to landowners can feel incredibly uncomfortable. Learn how to overcome your fear, understand the legalities, and how to get a landowner on board. If you’re an expert, you may already understand how relationships, etiquette, and people skills have a huge effect on metal detecting and acquiring permission.

But, if you’re a beginner or even an intermediate that needs to learn about this very important aspect of the hobby, David brings it all into perspective in an understandable approach.

7. A History of Roman Coinage in Britain

Author: Sam Moorhead

Ideal For: Beginners, Intermediates, Experts

This is a beautifully illustrated book with expert detail on most Roman coins from 300 BC to the early 5th century used in Britain. Written by Moorhead of the British Museum, you can bet if you’ve found some old Roman coins, you’ll want to know everything about it, and he is the man to know.

This detailed encyclopedia will take you back in time and get you up to date.

8. Buried Treasures You Can Find

Author: Robert F. Marx

Ideal For: Beginners, Intermediates

If you’re stumped on where to start sweeping, then you need some leads. Marx provides over 7,500 sites of buried treasure across the entire 50 states of the United States.

Many will require research to pursue the leads further, and you will have to do some calling and research about what it takes to metal detect on state or federal land.

9. Metal Detecting: A Beginner’s Guide to Mastering the Greatest Hobby in the World

Author: Mark Smith

Ideal For: Beginners

What a beginner really needs is a resource that is easy to understand and read. Smith delivers the must-have information in this manner and his enthusiasm is contagious. He speaks to how metal detectors work, how different metal detectors are used for different jobs, and he also discusses various things to look for and use like probing and water flow.

You’ll also get updated on the terminology, and photographs and diagrams prove helpful to beginners. The easy-to-read 218-page book is a must-have for a complete newb.

10. Metal Detecting for Beginners: 101 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started

Author: M. A. Shafer

Ideal For: Beginners

Shafer nails it when it comes to identifying what it is that beginners want to do – get outside and start detecting. The patience to sit down with a thick instructional book just isn’t there. Moving away from this approach, Shafer provides a QuickStart Guide with the basic principles needed to learn and improve productivity in the 108-page book.

He’s been sweeping for a long time, so he shares his personal experiences which makes it clear that his advice is solid and founded. This pocket guidebook is a must-have for the impatient beginner that’s ready to get swinging.

11. Metal Detecting the Beach

Metal Detecting the Beach
  • Used Book in Good Condition

Author: Mark Smith

Ideal For: Beginners

Mark gets a beginner clued in with the foundational knowledge a user must have of metal detectors. Terminology, how it works, what detector is right for you, necessary tools, and of course, metal detecting etiquette.

With that under your belt, he’ll jump right into understanding how tides, weather, and seasons affect your beach hunting. But, more than that, Mark shares personal stories with photos and diagrams to help you feel the excitement of sweeping a beach for treasure.

12. Placer Gold Deposits of Arizona

Placer Gold Deposits of Arizona
  • Johnson, Maureen G. (Author)

Author: Maureen G. Johnson

Ideal For: Beginners, Intermediates, Experts

Looking to prospect in the desert? Most beginners don’t know what to look for or where to start, so Johnson provides accurate historical maps of placer fields and valuable information for prospecting in Arizona. It provides a reprint of the Original US Geological Survey Bulletin of 1355.

For information on over 90 placer districts in the state in pocket size form, this is your go-to manual. There is also a Placer Gold Deposits of Nevada book that catalogs over 100 locations.

13. Penny Treasure: Complete Guide to Big $ Pennies Found in Change

Author: Sam Sommer

Ideal For: Beginners

You may have no idea that some of those old pennies you found may be worth big money. You may even have some error coins in your piggy bank right at this moment. Sommer tells you not to underestimate the value of chump change.

For as affordable as this book is, it’s worth it to learn a few more things that may pay off when you’re digging up random coins. 

Be a Book Worm

If metal detecting is more than just a hobby, you already understand that it takes more than just getting outside to be successful. Doing a little research and reading helps you understand the geology, the natural signs, and the dynamics of detecting good stuff that are worth the time effort to find.

It’s more than just willy-nilly scanning a random field or spot. You may find you’ll have to travel, learn what different coins are and how they’re valued, and when you need to call the appropriate authorities when you do stumble across a find. Somehow you’ll need to get this information.

Why not get it from the experts and have it on hand in writing?

Be a book worm to arm yourself with the knowledge to be a better metal detector user!

Further Reading

Last update on 2021-07-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Simon Owen

I’m Simon and I love finding things. From a young age I always had the knack to find coins, notes, wallets and more. All of that was without the use of technology. I look forward to sharing with you some amazing tech that will make your treasure hunt a lot easier.